9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance

Getting that first, brand new bicycle can be a joyful memory that lasts a lifetime. On September 6, 2012, the 9/11 Tribute Center coordinated over 500 volunteers to give that special memory to children of active United States military servicemen and women. For the fourth consecutive year, the 9/11 Tribute Center has organized a 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance project for employees from companies that were directly affected by 9/11. In partnership with the USO and with support from title sponsor BNY Mellon, 400 childrens’ bikes were assembled for active military families.

Volunteer teams from BNY Mellon, American Express, AON, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Cantor Fitzgerald, Deutsche Bank, Keefe Bruyette & Woods, Marsh & McLennan, Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., Spirit Cruises and Zurich assembled 400 bicycles. It was a great day for volunteers, who united in the same spirit of community and generosity we witnessed after the attacks on September 11th. For Chris Carney, Vice President of Corporate Relations at BNY Mellon, the project was very rewarding, “What an amazing event! I’ve received so many e-mails from employees thanking me for inviting them to participate in such an enjoyable project. Debbie, one of our “bike builders,” said she felt like she was having way too much fun for this to be a work day. Building bikes for children was such an appealing project, in itself. The fact that these bikes went to military families, was an added bonus.

The message from employees was simple, ‘Don’t forget me next year!’”

New York National Guard soldiers loaded the assembled bikes with red, white and blue ribbons tied to their handle bars, directly onto a military truck. The USO started the bicycle build program after service members repeatedly told them that the best way to help them would be to help their families – many of whom are dealing with multiple deployments. Jennifer Adams, CEO of the Tribute Center said, “9/11 Tribute Center volunteers share their personal stories every day at the 9/11 Memorial, providing memorable, impactful tours for the visiting public. Organizing today’s event for a broader range of volunteers, who are survivors and who lost colleagues on September 11, 2001, shares the spirit of remembering 9/11 in a positive way, and allows them to give back to our military and their families.”

By now, the bicycles that Tribute’s corporate volunteer teams built have arrived to hundreds of homes of children whose mothers or fathers are active United States soldiers. When that youngster rides their bike, perhaps they will be reminded of the fact that other Americans recognize their family’s tremendous patriotism and sacrifice. Tribute extends a warm thanks to all the corporate volunteers who participated in this year’s service project and heartfelt appreciation to the men and women who protect our freedom.

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